INTERNATIONAL: Prevention: The New Holy Grail of Treating Mental Illness

June 28, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Guardian

Mental health experts around the world are advocating for more investments in prevention. In a recent Lancet Psychiatry article, a group of international researchers identified early risk factors for mental illness, such as experiencing abuse or poverty in childhood. The authors also proposed prevention strategies, including policies that address inequality, health care efforts to spot mental illness in parents, and educational initiatives to foster social and emotional skills in children. Only five percent of mental health research funding goes to prevention. However, experts argue that preventing mental illness should be as high a priority as preventing physical illness. “We are all on this continuum of vulnerability, and protecting ourselves from psychological trauma is like protecting ourselves from too much exposure to the sun,” said Harvey Whiteford, professor of population mental health at the University of Queensland.

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